Who is Abramovich, the Russian oligarch forced to distance itself from Chelsea

Roman Abramovich, close to Chelsea boss Vladimir Putin for nearly 19 years, has announced that he is distancing himself from the London club. In fact, he has already done so for many years.

English football learned to live with Roman Abramovich, who arrived like an alien in the summer of 2003, when he bought Chelsea and their debt with the aim of building one of the continent’s best clubs. At the time, Russians went to Great Britain with a well-stocked bank account, with the idea of ​​increasing their fortunes. Vladimir Putin has already been elected President of Russia for a few years… and a strong support for Abramovich.

“He is one of those oligarchs who have pledged allegiance to Putin in exchange for being able to maintain his fortune,” RMC Sport Pascal, founder of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, tells Boniface. According to Pascal Boniface, the methods by which Abramovich amassed billions of dollars are sometimes “questionable”, particularly based on the privatization of large Russian companies in the hydrocarbon sector. But with Putin’s backing, nothing is in doubt.

A few months after Putin’s first election as president, Abramovich also became governor of Chukota province in northeastern Russia. Their business and their influence is growing. So to London. In the British capital, the Russian, whose current fortune is estimated by Forbes at more than 12 billion euros, has an illusion of grandeur. Long before financial fair play, he invested heavily in the Chelsea club. With some good shots but with some big lapses. Between 2003 and 2011, he spent approximately 150 million euros, a huge sum in football at the time, to recruit attackers who would not mark the history of the Blues.

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Shevchenko, a Ukrainian in Chelsea

Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Fernando Torres and a Ukrainian, Andrei Shevchenko, were recruited to the Ballon d’Or 2004 for approximately 43 million euros in 2006. But these failures did not prevent Chelsea from gaining momentum until they became champions of England in 2005. 2006. For several years, we see Abramovich in the stands of Stamford Bridge, attentive to the development of his club, which he wants to win the Champions League, the highest title.

The grill will be long overdue but will arrive in 2012 for the first time. Almost ten years after the arrival of Roman Abramovich. No one doubted the greatness of Chelsea, the fourth most successful club in the Kingdom after Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. However, gradually the oligarch gives up. Marina Granovska, whom he knew in the 1990s when he recruited her into his company, Sibneft, is rising in rank. She became more and more involved in club affairs and established herself as an essential figure in the blues.

This would soon become a boon to Abramovich. In 2018, the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence agent and double agent for the British services, caused quite strained relations between Russia and the United Kingdom. Roman Abramovich’s visa is not renewed and he is forced to leave the area. He then took refuge in Israel and obtained nationality there. Later, he also obtained a Portuguese passport. But he comes to London less and less, where he is clearly not welcome. For several months, he did not attend any blues matches, although he was used to being in the stadium every week.

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far from london

Marina Granovska, who has dual Russian-Canadian nationality, then manages the club on a daily basis, taking care of transfers and contracts. Abramovich retreats the first time, forced. He did it a second time this Saturday, February 26 in a very brief press release published on the Blues website. He claims to have entrusted the board of the Chelsea Foundation with the club’s management “in the interest of the club”, without any changes, as he was already less involved on a daily basis since 2018.

It is now up to the British government whether it wants to punish Russian investors in the United Kingdom with more severe punishment. Pascal Boniface explains: “It is a decision that London can make the fact of confiscation of their assets, which will have a great impact on the Chelsea club.” That’s why Roman Abramovich is keeping a low profile for the time being and distancing himself. For once, he doesn’t control everything and his relationship with Putin no longer solicits his business.

Robin Vetrant and MA . By

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